Roger Watts, the chairman, welcomed almost 200 people, and several visitors, to the Winding Wheel on March 6, for the AGM and display of group activities. U3A has been described as a ‘DIY adult education network’, offering interest groups on many different subjects as well as bi-monthly meetings with excellent speakers and a lively social programme of days out and visits.
As the chairman mentioned in his annual report, seven years ago members had a choice of fifty-six interest groups in Chesterfield U3A but now, with over 800 members, there are eighty-five groups, and more are set up every month. Roger Watts thanked everyone involved in running this branch of U3A, which is part of a national network with nearly 300,000 members. Thanks were offered to the committee members, to the group leaders, and to everyone on the tea rota. The coffee break is an important moment in all our activities, and Pat Haslam was presented with a beautiful flower arrangement in recognition of her work in ensuring the smooth running of the rota for the last four years.
Special thanks, and a gift, were also given to Philip Arrandale, the retiring Groups facilitator, whose enthusiasm and support to group leaders over the last seven years has been greatly valued.
Looking to the future, Roger Watts described initial discussions between the Derbyshire Network of U3As to identify other communities which might welcome the establishment of a branch of U3A, for example, Alfreton, Bolsover and Dronfield. This is part of a national initiative, prompted by the general cut backs in other forms of adult education.
The next meeting will be on May 1. Further details from Kathryn Holmes 07415 427 151 or chesterfieldu3a.org.uk